We are trying to get our lives turned over to an infinite God rather than our finite selves. If you’re the center, and you’re responsible for your whole life, that means absolutely everything is on your shoulders. I got to tell you something. It’s too big, it is just too big for me to handle alone. This world is there’s a lot of stuff to worry about. It is full of people and they’re all thinking things and you, and you don’t know what they’re thinking, but you suspect it’s about you [Laughter]. I mean don’t you? [Laughter]. So you have to kind of be on top of it all the time. It’s overwhelming. No wonder we drink. For God’s sake, just plain abstinence without anything makes a guy like me go crazy after a while.
But perhaps there’s a better way. Maybe we could have a different basis for our lives; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We can trust an infinite God rather our finite selves. This is a really interesting word, the word trust. You know, throughout history there have been cited incidences of alcoholics who turn in a moment of weakness and brokenness towards God and have a transformation. Invariably, not always, but quite often, this transformation wears out after a while. It’s like the shine of the conversion wears out and the ego reasserts itself. Usually, the guy returns to drinking again. I was at a workshop one time on Step 2 and it had about eighty people in the room. I suppose it was just on a fluke. I said, “Can I see the show of hands of the people who had either been saved or had some kind of conversion experience or connected with God and then drank again after that?” I was amazed. Between a third, and a half of the room raised their hands. See, faith just isn’t enough for us alcoholics. We have to have trust.
If you want to know what trust is, I’ll tell you a quick story. If you went to a circus and you sat in the audience and you watched a tight wire act and you watched a guy come out to the edge of the wire on the platform push in a wheelbarrow, you could sit in that audience and have all the faith in the world. You could say to yourself, “This guy’s a professional; he could walk across that tight wire push the wheelbarrow. I bet he’s done a thousand times! I have absolute faith he can do it!” Okay great so you have faith in that. Well, if you had trust, you would go up on the tight wire, and get in the wheelbarrow. So when I think about this and my life, I get this sinking feeling, because I can’t do it.
What trusting God would mean, is that I would have to let go of my life and conduct myself totally as if God’s got me covered. I don’t have to worry about anything. Great concept, but the problem is I can’t do it. I like going to meetings where we read about getting in the wheelbarrow, I like going out to coffee with people and philosophizing about getting in the wheelbarrow. I go to discussion meetings where we discuss the merits of getting in the wheelbarrow. But I don’t want to get in the wheel barrow. I am afraid that if I really did become totally surrendered to God and stop defending and protecting and concerning myself, I would get halfway out on that tight wire and hear a voice going, “Is that Bob?” [Laughter]. Seriously though, despite all my efforts to avoid it, I have to, I just have to get in the wheelbarrow. Page 53 of the Big Book says I am crushed by self-imposed crisis I cannot postpone or evade, I have to fearlessly face the proposition that God is either everything, or else he is nothing, God either is or isn’t.